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How Many Times Can I File for Bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2017 | Bankruptcy Basics, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The goal behind filing for bankruptcy is to pave a new financial path for yourself, free of debt. The stories behind bankruptcy vary, however, and are often the result of unexpected, even catastrophic events. And just because something happens once, unfortunately, does not mean it can’t happen again.

Serious Financial Issues May Occur More Than Once

Sometimes, due to no fault of your own, you may again find yourself in a situation that can only be remedied by either filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As an experienced bankruptcy attorney will tell you, while this is indeed unfortunate, it is not rare. With good legal help, you should be able to navigate through repairing your financial challenges once again, whether with bankruptcy or other debt settlement options.

You Can File for Chapter 7 Again After Eight Years

Some pre-planning, including discussing the proper timeline with your attorney, is important if you are planning to file again. For many, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best choice, and especially if you are eligible through the means test-demonstrating that your income is below the median household income for your state; however, if you have already filed for Chapter 7 and received a discharge, you will need to wait an additional eight years to file another Chapter 7. If you have previously filed for and received a Chapter 13 discharge, you need to wait six years from the time of filing for Chapter 13 to file a Chapter 7.

Usually, if you filed for bankruptcy previously but did not receive a discharge, you can then file again without time limits. If there were issues with your first bankruptcy filing and it was dismissed, however, the court may rule that you cannot file again for a given amount of time. This could be a result of failing to follow court orders, hiding assets, or other issues. Obviously, no matter when you file for Chapter 7, it is important to follow the advice of your bankruptcy attorney-and follow the rules of the court carefully, always being forthright.

You May Be Able to File for Chapter 13 After Four Years

Filing for Chapter 7 again may not be feasible if you need more immediate help. In that case, you may turn to Chapter 13 after filing for Chapter 7, but there is still a wait of at least four years. If you need relief sooner than this, you may want to examine other options with your attorney, such as filing earlier just to receive the benefit of the automatic stay-and to take some breathing room from collection activities while you figure out a solid game plan.

Discuss Other Options with Your Bankruptcy Attorney

There are other intricacies involved in filing for bankruptcy again that may either work for you, or against you, such as whether you were previously denied a discharge, or perhaps your case was dismissed. In exploring your choices, you will need the help of an experienced law firm with attorneys well-versed in bankruptcy law.

Contact Us for Help Now

Because Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. has already helped thousands of clients through the bankruptcy process, we understand exactly what you are going through. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can offer solutions tailored specifically to your financial circumstances. The initial consultation is offered at no cost to you, and we are even available to meet with you on weekends and evenings. Call us at 973-323-2953, or contact us online to schedule your consultation.